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Estimate: 9,800 More Cars Daily in Reston

Reston2020 report says Silver Line traffic diversions will have hugh impact on local roads.

Reston2020 estimates that the Silver Line will add nearly 10,000 cars a day to Reston roads.

The advocacy group, in a fact sheet analysis of CDM Smith's latest report, says "diverted traffic will contribute to already congested conditions on nearby east-west streets in Reston."

Some of the streets most affected will be Sunrise Valley Drive, Baron Cameron Avenue, Lawyers Road and Sunset Hills Road.

To see Reston2020's complete fact sheet, click here.

Rob Whitfield March 12, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Karen: It is the bizarre MWAA funding scheme for Dulles Rail, not the rail project itself, which will cause traffic gridlock in Reston, Great Falls, Herndon, Vienna and McLean starting in 2013. Our useless federal, state and local politicians have repeatedly failed to demand accountability and feasibility of the Silver Line project from those building it and those who are supposed to run it. Businesses and residents in the Dulles Corridor should understand that Fairfax County has almost totally failed to plan for the arrival of the Silver Line Metro to Wiehle Avenue in December 2013. The 2,300 space parking garage there will cause unimaginable chaos for the local streets in Reston. MWAA plans to double Dulles Toll Road tolls in January 2013 and then double them again within the next five years to help pay the massive additional debt needed for Dulles Rail Phase 2. The MWAA consultant, CDM Smith admits that 18 million fewer users will drive the DTR in 2013 than in 2012. The total traffic diverted to local roads from DTR could well average over 20,000 vehicles per day.Does anybody really think that more than 20% of the total travel demand will divert to Metro or carpools? If you are WMATA Board Chairman and Supervisor Hudgins, then you believe that everybody in Reston must ride Metro. This ignores the fact that Metrorail does not serve the employment locations of most of Northern Virginia workers, and never will.
Terry Maynard March 12, 2012 at 06:08 PM
It is important for everyone to know that RCA and its Reston 2020 Committee want the Metrorail line completed as soon as reasonable. We believe, however, that the current funding arrangement of having Dulles Toll Road pay for three-quarters of the cost of Phase 2 (from Wiehle to Loudoun) is inequitable and maybe counter-productive. We believe toll road users should pay no more than one-quarter of the total cost as planned in the 2004 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). That would encourage drivers who can use Metrorail to travel to their destination to do so, and not impose an excessive burden in either toll costs or traffic jams under the current formula.
Uncle Smartypants March 12, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I'm having a hard time accepting the idea that 18% of cars will leave the DTR if tolls go up to $4.50. And add 30-45-60 minutes to their commute? These commuters from - I just read this - the two richest counties (the highest median income) in the entire country? They might try route 7 once. For most people, there is nothing more valuable than their time. Also, any estimates accompanied by such strident advocacy is very suspect in my book. Like asking a barber if you need a haircut. Only time will tell.
Terry Maynard March 12, 2012 at 09:13 PM
That percentage comes from MWAA's forecaster, CDM Smith--formerly Wilbur Smith & Associates. In a meeting we had with Smith and MWAA (& its 2 financial advisors) last Friday, they stuck with their percentage as part of the new baseline forecast. Agree that time will tell, but then we will have already bought the haircut!
Rob Whitfield March 13, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Not So Smart Uncle Smartypants: Terry Maynard and I disagree somewhat on Dulles Rail merits. My view is that the Dulles Corridor would be better served by less costly expanded express bus service which offers far more operating route flexibility. We both see that the MWAA financing plan portends disaster for Dulles Corridor residents and businesses. I share Terry's stated goal to reduce the Toll Road users share of Dulles Rail capital costs to 25% or less. A far bigger problem looms for Fairfax County taxpayers. WMATA projects $13.3 billion in capital replacement costs for the existing 103 mile Metrorail system in the next decade, $6.5 billion of which the WMATA Board does not know to fund. Don't count on Uncle Sam or the Commonwealth to bail out local taxpayers. The median Fairfax and Loudoun household income may still be over $100,000. thanks to federal workers with a $120,000 median income who expect others to subsidize their commute. Tysons Corner or Reston Town Center landowners stand to double their land values during the next few years. Is that smart or greedy? Or is your idea of "smart' giving commuters subsidized Metrorail rides on the backs of middle and lower income auto commuters, who mostly don't work in Federal City or near a Metro station? Terry's advocacy for Reston is far more worthy of our support than the strident advocacy of "smart growth" liberals who don't give a hoot about the cost and harm they cause to existing communities.
Donna Sandin March 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM
A few years ago on a local-issues program on Channel 8, I recall hearing that when the placement of toll booths was determined, Tysons Corner drivers were "given a pass" so that they would not be overburdened by tolls. A specifc toll booth location was deleted from the plans at that time. I cannot remember any of the details but the folks who were talking on that show surely are still alive and remember this issue. They should be lobbying for a new toll collection point so that we can spread the burden in a fairer manner.
Donna Sandin March 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Cleaning out a closet yesterday I found the March 25 1987 issue of the Connection newspaper. Front page "Making Tracks to Dulles...Everyone wants light rail but the wait goes on and on....STORY inside was lengthy. It interviews local leaders and refers to the DART (Dulles Access Rapid Transit) group as "proposing to build the 75 mph rail by 1991, with a price tag as high as $200 million, mostly with private funds." Group headed by Najeeb Halaby, former head of the FAA, who I still associate with the earliest plans for rail. Of course one of the things that killed the project was the need, said transportation experts like Joe Stowers, to seamlessly connect with Metro rail, which is "heavy rail."
Terry Maynard March 13, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Rob--Reston 2020 (& I) want "smart growth," that is, growth that is smart. It is not just liberals who are smart. And, we agree, socking it to toll road users is not smart. And it's not all black & white. The smart part of higher tolls is that it will focus development around Metro stations and boost Metro ridership, but that's where it ends. The higher profit potential there will lead to higher prices and less diverse "gentrification" of the station areas, countering both Reston planning principles and County workforce goals. In fact, the increased tolls amount to a 3% real income tax surcharge for toll road commuters on average, and a higher surcharge for those with lower incomes. That is grossly inequitable. And every dollar spent on tolls is a dollar not spent in the local economy. As a result, development and property values beyond the station areas will suffer because those who commute the toll road will have less money to spend on rent and mortgages. And, in the absence of property tax rate increases, that will erode county revenues. That's not smart. More broadly, residents and employees who use the DTR will have less money to spend locally on food, clothing, entertainment, and other uses. That will erode local business strength and state/local sales taxes. Again, that's not smart. Let's be smarter and find another way to finance most of Metrorail's construction.
Wendy March 13, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Uncle Smarty Pants, I think that many people will leave the toll road. I currently use the Greenway very sparingly because of the higher tolls. And I use the DTR less often than I used to. If the tolls on the DTR were to go up to $4.50, I would be one of the miserable people crowded on route 7.
Tammi Petrine March 14, 2012 at 08:46 AM
Putting the onus of such a HUGE portion of the Silver Line funding on the backs of a TINY demographic is beyond stunning and outrageous. Who thought that up? How could OUR county BOS put us and the economic health of the Dulles Corridor in such harms way? (Reminds me of the DR. who killed the patient to cure the disease.) Americans are innovative folks with high optimism but fairness is the hallmark (or SHOULD) be of our society. And the current "plan" is anything BUT fair. I am completely frustrated by the comments that keep speaking about rich commuters. Folks, smell the coffee. LOTS of current users are not rich by any stretch. The cost of living here is expensive! Many, many service and trades people use the DTR in the course of performing their jobs. These are NOT wealthy folks. And after paying the projected (by MWAA) tolls, fewer will be "wealthy" than before. Then look to the future; how many see their children fulfilling the same standard of living or anything close to what we older folks have achieved? Times have changed; the whole ballgame has new rules. Lower wages relatively; fewer benefits & NO pensions for most. And we are saddling them with astronomical tolls that add commuting expense of about $4,000+/year for decades??? We WANT Metro but NOT with THIS funding plan. We all know this plan is bad. There are better, more creative ways to do this that can work. BOS, call off the race to a vote & meet us at the table to work together.
Will Lipford March 15, 2012 at 04:05 PM
This should have been built 20 years ago, at this point with the gridlock in our area, which I agree is going to get ever worse when the Silver line opens. We really need to be aggressive in solutions. For instance, why not build additional bridges across the Potomac? That alone would help quite a bit, time to think outside the box. Typical NOVA solution, too little too late.

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